Clearing the Way

It's official: The nation's (not to mention Denver's) highly competitive live concert business just got a little less, well, competitive. Live Nation today announced that it will purchase House of Blues Entertainment for $350 million in cold, hard cash. As part of the deal, Live Nation will presumably gain control of HOB's ten clubs and eight outdoor venues , including Coors Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village.

For the benefit of those who haven't paid much attention to their ticket stubs recently -- and that probably covers most people -- Live Nation is a spin-off of Clear Channel Communications, the mammoth San Antonio-based corporation that has a veritable stranglehold on the radio industry, with over 1,200 stations across the country. Known as Clear Channel Entertainment before it was made an independent entity last December, Live Nation -- the nation's largest concert producer -- had been embroiled in a ground-breaking lawsuit with a Denver promoter, Nobody In Particular Presents. Back in August 2001, NIPP filed suit against Clear Channel, alleging unfair business practices and violations of federal and state anti-trust statutes; Michael Roberts outlined the case in "Taking on the Empire." Two years later, the case was settled -- and today another competitor is about to go away for good. -- Dave Herrera

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